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R.L.'s Houseboat On the Styx [entries|archive|friends|userinfo]

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Three Body Problem -- maybe really good? [May. 25th, 2015|06:54 pm]
This review makes it sound really good. There is real SF in it, and quite a lot, apparently.
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The Three Body Problem [May. 24th, 2015|02:16 pm]
Wow, a review of THE THREE BODY PROBLEM that actually mentions the plot! And the plot has some SF in it, though apparently more Cultural Revolution than either.

ETA - I just asked this at her site:

How are the history and the characters' backgrounds presented? Flashbacks, infodumps, etc? Does it simply start decades ago and progress steadily and glacially to the time of the story?
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Does this bet make sense? [May. 24th, 2015|09:28 am]
He bet me $1000 against $10 that the first superintelligent computer would destroy the world within a week.

Who, if anyone, collects?
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Wants wanted. [May. 15th, 2015|09:49 pm]
I'm starting a little neighborhood online bbs ...

"This is a bulletin board for needs and offers (small money okay), freebies, rides, town errands, dog sitting, garden or handyman work, etc etc."

... and I want to seed it with some funny examples.

Any ideas?
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Is anyone making any money on Etsy etc? [May. 7th, 2015|08:57 pm]
A friend tells me there is no point in trying to sell on Etsy, because "Nobody makes any money there."

Really? What about similar sites?

I have an idea for a little craft item I could decorate. It is a little keychain fob pill carrier -- which is all one piece, so you don't lose parts of it when you open it.

Any thoughts?
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Globe maps -- an odd put-on [May. 1st, 2015|09:08 pm]
An odd style of put-on at clickhole.
You see, to deal with the geometric distortion of turning a round globe into a flat map, [the creators of our traditional world map] had to adjust the size of land masses, making it appear, for instance, as if Canada dwarfs Australia or that the section of Interstate 95 running through Stamford isn’t 3,400 miles long.

These are real, apparently made using real satellite photos from reasonable heights.
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First person grammar -- help! [Apr. 16th, 2015|05:05 pm]
I am staring in flabbergast at someone being, er, wrong on the internet. My flaming response so far consists of "So into the bucket go Huckleberry Finn, Treasure Island".... and I'm blanking at further examples.

Here's the target:

A: "But criticizing the author for having his characters speak as real people do, rather than in proper written English? Not so justifiable."

B: Oh, completely agreed, and I got that impression too, but the phrase in question was not the character speaking (i.e., not in quotes) except to the reader as first-person narration.

Here's the excerpt they were discussing. I think it's the opening of an SF novel.

"Please don't do that," said an Air Force master sergeant who'd been supervising Chesty and me during our first day in the suits. We'd already logged two weeks going over mechanics and theory, hitting the books and soaking our brains in math, diagrams, and history lessons on the development of these, the United States' most sophisticated remotely-operated vehicles in existence. Even a single arm from one of the proxies was worth more than my retired mother's five-bedroom McMansion in the Bay Area.

I rightfully quit my fooling around and waited for further instructions from the master sergeant—just one of many technically-savvy non-commissioned offers who prowled on the sidelines. The closed hangar in which we all stood was part of the ODIS simulator—a place where new proxy Operators could get a feel for their machines, and the body suits could be "tuned" to their wearers. No human being's electromagnetic or physiological signature being quite the same as any other's."
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From far, far on the Left, I say... [Apr. 14th, 2015|02:07 am]
In the category of Best Response to Muggle Invective:

So far, in this tempest in a teardrop (it is too small for my teapot) there has been exactly one of my detractors who claimed my work was undeserving of notice, but countless detractors calling me a racist misogynist bigot ballotbox-stuffing flying purple people eater.
-- John C. Wright
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I can quit any time, I do, many times. [Apr. 11th, 2015|12:29 pm]
In Comments, chris_gerrib offered FACTS!

Short answer: she [aryhalon] got that number [199] from me, and I got it from the last slide on the Hugo announcements presentation.

Slightly longer answer: I looked at what the nominated short stories got, which was between 230 and 151 votes. She probably did some additional SWAG-ing.

I fell into Slate's slate article, from there one on Japanese closet organizing, from there Amazon, got lost looking for the 1-star reviews, which somehow bored me enough to get back here. I won't look deeper, I won't ... I'll just speculate on insufficient data right here at home.

~200 new members * $40 each = $8,000 for WorldCon. The SMOFs can cry all the way to the briar patch. Maybe next year they should charge more for last-minute joiners; same total money, but fewer votes.

I'm going back to the Japanese closet organizing. One minute at a time.
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Trying to refrain from commenting on the Hugo Puppies controversy [Apr. 11th, 2015|03:23 am]
Being Far Left myself but with a demon of fairness, I'm trying to stay out of the Hugo Puppies controversy. I will refrain, I will...

from making a list of SF anthologies with themes and titles and blurbs about the demographics of their authors rather than the content of the stories,

from looking up the total number of members for context of arhyalon's (Mrs. Wright's) figure of 199 new members*, and

from looking up a SMOF's remark to the effect that past lists of suggested works were okay, but the Puppies actually have recommendations in every single category.

In support of freedom of speech, I'm leaving Comments open, but will try to refrain from replying.

* Okay, figures are mentioned in the comments. Now I will refrain from more about all this, I will I will....
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